The year 5775 (on the Jewish calendar, counting from Creation) is a Shemittah (Sabbatical) year.

Part of the observance of Shemittah includes the forgiving of loans. More than 2,000 years ago, Hillel the Elder saw that people were avoiding giving loans as the Shemittah year neared. In order to encourage people to continue lending money, he instituted the pruzbul system. The Torah states that while all private debts are forgiven, public debts are exempt. The act of pruzbul makes private debts public, and therefore redeemable. (See Loan Amnesty for more information on the origins of the pruzbul.)

Though the pruzbul is done on the eve of the Rosh Hashanah preceding the Shemittah year, according to many halachic authorities one should executeanother pruzbul one year later, on the last day of the Shemittah (considering that the actual annulment of all debts transpires on that date).

The pruzbul can be done orally before three adult men who constitute a court. One approaches this “court” and states that he or she is transferring to them all debts which may be owed to him or her, thus making them collectable.

If this option is not available to you, fill out the form below before early afternoon of Sunday, September 13, 2015.

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